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‘It’s the jobs, stupid’ catches on in Sydney Airport debate

It has taken far too long, but the general media focus on a 2nd Sydney Airport at Badgerys Creek has started to look at the jobs it will create.

The link between relevant air services and the economic health of the state may also soon cause the media to send reporters and photographers to the Glenfield railway station which is at the heart of the SW Rail project, where a large graded interchange or rail line flyover will extend the Airport and East Hills line through Sydney Airport to Leppington on its completion in 2016, within easy striking distance of the logical location of a future station at a terminal at a Badgerys Creek airport.

As reported here much earlier.

Using current metropolitan rolling stock,  current speed limits, and current second rate inefficient signaling systems, the work now approaching completion could with minor extensions allow the stations under the international and domestic terminals at Kingsford Smith to be connected in 25 minutes to a second airport at Badgerys Creek.

Glenfield flyover graphic, not mentioning airports to the left and right

The improvements simultaneously being made to the north-south line that goes from Campbelltown to Liverpool and on to the east west rail lines would also link very large patronage catchments from other parts of the metropolitan rail network to connect at Glenfield to Badgerys Creek, or thanks to the graded interchange, avoid the need for such a connection and run directly to a second airport.

These big ticket items to generate jobs and restore Sydney’s competitiveness as a gateway city are already paid for. The Badgerys Creek site is owned by the Commonwealth, and would be sold to the consortium that would build and operate the second airport, and the rail improvements which would link it to the rest of the network have already been costed or largely paid for based on the need to improve suburban rail travel in that part of Sydney and separate large freight trains from commuter traffic.

Badgerys Creek is also proximate to the M4, M5 and M7. It wouldn’t take much to build effective motorway links to its terminal.

The fact that the lights are going on in relation to the need for a major airport in the western half of the Sydney basin is encouraging.  Maybe that light might also get shone more searchingly into the peculiar resistance of federal and state labor governments to do the blindingly obvious, and build the much needed airport on what might otherwise just become another huge expanse of housing without supporting jobs and activities in the depressingly under resourced western extremes of greater Sydney.

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  • 1
    julius grafton
    Posted November 15, 2012 at 11:51 am | Permalink

    The problem is the NSW State Government is not prone to reality. Example: they will at the end of 2013 CLOSE the Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre AND the Entertainment Centre, so a (not yet known) consortium can rebuild it.

    The Government could have staged the rebuild, to keep the conventions happening.

    So with that kind of insanity, any kind of reality about Sydney’s next airport will be hard to achieve.

  • 2
    David Sanderson
    Posted November 15, 2012 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

    While nothing tempers my overall support of democratic decision-making it has to be said that the failure to build a new airport is a major failure for the democratic model. It is a failure that is reflected by all the parties but it is especially disappointing that O’Farrell is not using up some of the huge political capital he now has to clear this major infrastructure blockage.

    As Ben says there is a major opportunity here for Western Sydney to have a major economic driver that should overwhelm the noise and environmental concerns about the Badgery’s Creek site.

  • 3
    StickShaker
    Posted November 15, 2012 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

    @David Sanderson: You are dead right – the failure of successive governments over many years to address the issue of a second airport in Sydney represents a failure of the political system. Weak or minority governments tend to make weak decisions.
    It almost makes you yearn for for a Singaporean or Hong Kong type of administration – they would have done it long ago.

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